I recently bought a nice Rubes horn from the classifieds and could use some advice on tuning/adjusting the reed in it. I put a new ďcorrectí bulb on it and the reed appears to be okay, but when I squeeze it, there is no sound from the horn. Rather than muck things up, itís easier to ask someone here on the forum than break things that donít need to be broken. Thanks in advance.
First, look for dirt or other debris, (dead bugs are popular discovery), that may be blocking the reed.
I have found that the after market reeds really don't work that well. Try a music horn shop.
Ron, I'm not so sure you can really "tune" up these reeds. I do know, that the least bit of mishandling of that reed and it quits working. Don't ask me how I know! It quit. Bought new reed, was careful not to even BREATHE on the reed, and it works fine. Also discovering that at least on '13s, the reed originally was up at the bulb, not down by the horn. This would no doubt make a big difference also. That's my next project.
If you know anyone that tunes pipe organs, they can voice the reed for you. And yes, you get more control and volume with the reed near the bulb.
I bought a new reed about 10 years ago (from Snyders I believe) and it didn't work well. After a bit of fiddling I managed to get it to the point where it simply wouldn't work at all and subsequently succeeded in ruining it completely. I ordered another new one from the same company and it worked great.
Harry...exactly what I alluded to in my previous post. These reeds are VERY touchy!
The new reeds don't really work well with the T setup because they aren't designed for it. Sometimes you do get lucky and get one that does, as Tim and Harry found out. Best move is to find an untouched NOS or good original reed, but these aren't real common.
As far as tuning the reeds goes, you CAN scrape them, which is/was the method of tuning reeds for organs, but you will only move the tone a small amount (just a few Hz) up or down. You certainly can't get an octave or two that way, which is what most of us are trying to achieve. Tuning a reed really has benefit only if the driver has perfect pitch and can't abide a sharp or flat note, or if s/he's trying to make some kind of customized horn setup, such as making it play a tune.
I make the correct horn setups and am working on making a good reed that will work well in the T setup, but they won't be ready for awhile yet.
I heard rumors that Donna Reed got tuned up a time or two!